Bill Turnbull says life with cancer has become ‘relentlessly boring’

The presenter was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017.
The presenter was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017.

Presenter Bill Turnbull says his daily battle with cancer has become “relentlessly boring”.

He said the disease is present in his life when he goes to sleep at night and when he wakes up each morning.

The Classic FM and former BBC Breakfast presenter was diagnosed with incurable prostate cancer in November 2017, and has spoken to Radio Times magazine about his struggle.

Turnbull has had 10 rounds of chemotherapy in a bid to stop the cancer, which has spread across his pelvis, hips, legs and spine.

He said: “It’s the fact that having cancer is so relentlessly boring. You go to bed at night thinking about it, and it’s still there when you wake up.

“It’s there all day, every day – a fact of life you have to get used to. And it’s a massive pain in the backside.”

In July he asked his doctors to stop the chemotherapy, before doing four more rounds.

He said: “I asked the consultant to release me from the treatment. I just couldn’t bear it any longer.”

He has said he does not accept being called courageous for speaking out about cancer, but has paid tribute to his late colleague Rachael Bland, who died at 40 after blogging about her struggles with cancer and showing “courage indeed”.

Turnbull’s blood count for cancer has been brought down by the chemotherapy, but it could return within months.

He has said it is not clear how long he will live, even if future treatment is successful.

This week’s Radio Times is available from Monday.